Great summer read.
This is the first book I have read by Suri Mitchell and it will not be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed the story from beginning until end. The characters were great, interactions not always what I expected, but as each chapter ended I couldn't help but want to keep reading.
A fun light hearted read.
I was sent this book through The Book Club Network, with no strings attached.
May 18, 2013
The rivalry between City ConfectionaryÃ¢ÂÂs Fancy Crunch and Standard ManufacturingÃ¢ÂÂs Royal Taffy in 1910 St. Louis is turning the candy world upside down. The Kendalls and the Clarkes used to be part of the same company, but at this point they resemble the Hatfields and McCoys. The animosity now extends to the children of the founders.
Through a chance meeting Lucy Kendall meets Charlie Clarke. At the time they donÃ¢ÂÂt realize who the other is and a spark of interest begins to grow. Soon enough it becomes known and even though the attraction is mutual they just canÃ¢ÂÂt seem to put aside the hurt and resentment of the past.
This is a story of jealousy, stubbornness, and revenge. It is also a story of caring, yielding and forgiveness. Once again Siri Mitchell transports us back in time with the sights, sounds and smells of the time period. She is a gifted writer that can paint a complete picture with words. I enjoy her ability to give a very detailed account of the timeframe without losing the magic of the storyline. I learn so much from her novels through the narrative and through the authorÃ¢ÂÂs notes at the end.
If you enjoy historical fiction I think you will delight in Unrivaled. My only warning is that this is a story about candy . . . better stock up on some before you pick up the book. You are definitely going to want some by the end.
May 14, 2013
Hilarious Romance Novel!
Lucy Kendall, a beautiful, privileged young woman, returns from a whirlwind year in Europe with her aunt and uncle. She feels the trip has changed her life, but nothing like what transpires when she returns to her home in St. Louis, Missouri. She finds during her absence her father has suffered a heart attack and is bedfast, all her peers have married except one, and her mother wants to sell their candy business, City Confectionery.
During her trip she gathered the most luscious candies she could find, planning to use them to create the best candy recipe ever to save her fatherÃ¢ÂÂs struggling business. She begs her mother to give her a chance. Her mother gives her one month to work nothing short of a miracle. The catch is she must fulfill her obligations in society as debutante which is further complicated by being elected as Queen of Love and Beauty.
CharlieÃ¢ÂÂs ClarkeÃ¢ÂÂs life was the exact opposite of LucyÃ¢ÂÂs, abandoned by his father at a very young age, living in poverty and becoming involved in crime to support his mother and siblings. He is sent to live with his very wealthy father whom he has not seen in 15 years. His father just happens to be the owner of Standard Manufacturing, the nemesis and competitor that is driving LucyÃ¢ÂÂs family out of business. Story also has it that Mr. Clarke conned LucyÃ¢ÂÂs dad out of his original recipe for Royal Taffy, the number one selling candy of the time! With bitterness toward his father, and the social shock suddenly being thrown into high society, Charlie is struggling this is own issues.
As if making all the public appearances and working on her candy recipe isnÃ¢ÂÂt enough, things get even more complicated for Lucy when she meets Charlie (not knowing who he is) and finds herself falling in love with him. CharlieÃ¢ÂÂs feelings match hers. That is until Lucy finds out whom he really is!
Lucy goes into full blown attack mode to save their company. Charlie not wanting to comply but desiring his fatherÃ¢ÂÂs praise, does everything he can to stop her every effort. The ensuing battle is hilarious, with each one trying to outmaneuver the other. All along, they are fighting the strong attraction for one another and growing more frustrated by the moment.
While this book is a wonderfully entertaining, filled with romance and a lots of humor; it offers much more. Historically I was able to see a blossoming, and rapidly changing era. Ms. Mitchell allowed me to see the early 20th century through the eyes of both the wealthy and the poor. It held a surprising reminder of the great gulf that lay between the two social groups during that time. The conditions in the factories and the child labor was appalling enough without realzing how some business owners had no compassion or concern for their workers, especially the children.
As the story unfolds I saw Lucy and Charlie mature and grow as young adults; each one being forced to harshly examine their self. They faced their character flaws and faults, but most importantly desired to change. Lucy was a beautiful example of how we can become so focused on our desires we can sacrifice our values and end up making impulsive and sinful choices all in the name of Ã¢ÂÂwinningÃ¢ÂÂ. Charlie reveals that our past does not define who we are in the present, and we must not only seek GodÃ¢ÂÂs forgiveness but also forgive ourselves.
You will laugh, cry and even feel angry at the escapades of Lucy and Charlie. The book is 391 pages but you will find it difficult to put it down, and when you come to the end, you will be wishing for more! A very good book.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
May 9, 2013
Sweet story of romance and candy!
Siri Mitchell has written a very sweet story about romance and candy! Unrivaled is the story of two heirs to the candy making industry. How they manage to mix up a very delicious tale is one you will enjoy reading!
First, we have the candy lady. Lucy has just returned from a year-long tour of Europe. She hopes to invent a delicious new candy that will make her father's candy factory once again the leader in the candy making world. But to her dismay, her father has had a life-threatening heart attack, and is about to lose his factory to his rival. Then, Lucy is selected to be the "Queen of Love and Beauty". How will this help her to save her father's candy factory?
The candy man, Charlie, on the other hand, is first seen as an inmate in the local jail, accused of murder. He is acquitted, and his father - who long ago deserted the family - sends for Charlie to come to St. Louis to help him run his candy factory. Charlie's father is not a very nice man, and it seems that he is trying to take Lucy's father's candy factory away from her.
This sticky story is a sweet tale of taffy like problems, creamy chocolate romance and a few nougats of nutty situations, altogether a book of delicious treats, just waiting for you to enjoy. For another addicting book by Siri Mitchell, don't miss Unrivaled. PS, Don't forget a couple of pieces of chocolate to enjoy while you read this addicting, sweet book!
May 9, 2013